Joy. Gratitude. Humility.
This smile I have on in this picture was, in actuality, a boisterous, animated laugh coming from a deep well of delight that if you heard, you would most definitely think I have lost my mind. This smile is a summary of the joy God has brought to my heart these last few weeks.
Jason, my husband, took this picture on the mountains of Oregon on our way to Walla-Walla, Washington. The sight we saw not too long after we entered I-84 W surprised me. I was ooohhhinngg and aahhinngg nonstop. But when we entered Umatilla National Forest, I was compelled to silence. The stateliness of the trees and the mountains arrested my heart and quieted my mind. I felt God.
As the trees converged more and more, the forest appearing thicker and thicker, they unexpectedly revealed an open space, wide enough for us to park but covered in thick fog. We decided to pullover and explore the area. It was drizzling that day which added to the drama of the scenery we were seeing. Before I could start taking a video to freeze in time our surroundings, Jason suddenly cried out, “Look! It’s snowing!” I turned around, looked up, and stared at the atmosphere. What I saw was the most magical event I have ever witnessed: rainwater turning into snow midair. I could not believe what was happening. At that very moment, we became like little children. We started laughing so hard and so deep, exclaiming again and again to each other, “Look, the rain is changing into snow!” And it was at this moment that Jason shot this picture.
This display, to me, was the generosity of God showing up for us. I love fantasy; I enjoy books and movies about magic and the supernatural. This experience was the ultimate fantastical experience. It was surreal. God knew how it would make me happy.
These last few weeks of our stay here back home have been nothing but a constant demonstration of God’s love again and again and again, showing up through family, friends, and even people we’ve only met for the first time. He has been filling my heart with overflowing gratitude for His goodness and consistent care for us. I had asked Him to give us rest. He not only gave us that but an overwhelming sense of attentive love and care. He has brought me to a level of gratitude that I have not known before.
All this has brought me to a place of humility. My God, who is the Almighty Creator, the God of the Garden, has taken the time to relate to me for what I needed the most in this season. It brought to mind Psalm 8, which speaks of God’s power, man’s lowliness, and how this powerful, limitless Creator chooses to value man.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
What am I that you are mindful of me, Lord, and the daughter of man that you care for me? I have no answer to this question except the knowledge that He loves me so. He has proven this love to me at the most unlikely of times and places, so many times; I have lost count of it. He always outdoes Himself in showing me that He understands me, that He sees me like no other, and that He is choosing to love me despite my fickle nature. What a selfless act from the One who spoke creation into existence and breathed life into my nostrils! How else can I be but joyful, grateful, and humbled?